F1 newcomers forced into making changes to the design of its fuel tank
26 March 2010

Virgin Racing has been forced into making substantial modifications to the design of the fuel tank of its Formula One car after it was found to be too small to allow the car to get to the end of some races.

The FIA has granted the team special dispensation to make the changes; its chassis design had already been homologated by the FIA and changes wouldn’t normally be allowed.

The tank is too small for tracks where fuel consumption is likely to be quite heavy, such as at this weekend’s Australian grand prix in Melbourne.

Virgin’s technical director Nick Wirth, who designed the team’s car without the use of a wind tunnel by solely using CFD, said the changes were likely to be in force for the Turkish grand prix.

“We recently applied to the FIA for permission to change the size of the fuel tank on the grounds of reliability and we are pleased that the FIA has granted us this permission," he said.

"It has become clear during pre-season testing and our debut race in Bahrain that our fuel tank capacity is marginal and if not addressed there is the possibility that fuel pick-up could become an issue in certain circumstances.

"At the time the design of the tank was locked down in June 2009, its capacity was determined by a number of factors, some of which have since changed, and the tank capacity now needs to be increased accordingly. We thank the FIA for permitting this change, which we expect to introduce in the early part of the European season."

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9

26 March 2010

Only sensible to allow the new teams to adjust to F1, and this is one good example of why. Although the other teams may well have covered this part well enough they may need to tweak their designs throughout the year. As long as it's "sporting" we should give them all the help we can without being unfair to established teams. Unless you had experience in F1 it's unlikely you'd have known fuel consumption rates, so this is fair.

Let's be honest, the back of the grid may be the only area that gives us some entertainment this year!

26 March 2010

i would not worry to much virgins usually have small entry tanks ahem! joking aside did they not realise this before the season started :S

26 March 2010

I remember Nick Wirth from his Benetton days and found it rather hard to warm to him, he always seemed such an outspoken individual.

His recent comments that the car did everything he expected seem to show nothing has changed. And everything he 'expected' didn't include the fuel tanks size and the cars consumption presumably?

How many seconds off the pace were they today? A well sorted GP2 car is faster.

26 March 2010

bunch of cocky amateurs headed by Wirth as correctly pointed out. Not really belonging to F1, but on the other hand having a few mobile chicanes might make for interesting clashes between the "haves" and the "have nots" during races...

It will also be entertaining to see the clowns try to hang on... Virgin and Hispania will make the pace car look fast!

26 March 2010

Nick Wirth must have predicted that they would never reach the end of a race so didn't bother to fit the right size tank. He doesn't need to rush!

Richard Branson is getting real value from his investment. Maybe they keep making cock ups to get headlines as performance wise there is nothing to write about. As they say, news is news good or bad.

26 March 2010

No point in having a bigger fuel tank unless the car is reliable enough to exploit it....

26 March 2010

[quote Autocar]"It has become clear during pre-season testing and our debut race in Bahrain that our fuel tank capacity is marginal and if not addressed there is the possibility that fuel pick-up could become an issue in certain circumstances.[/quote] A very long winded way of saying someone's dropped a bo**ock.

 

26 March 2010

Although, being a Virgin means it never goes all the way...

 

26 March 2010

[quote Leslie Brook]

Although, being a Virgin means it never goes all the way...

[/quote]

Maybe Jim Holder could award a prize for the best post each week?

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